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Stage Pyrotechnic Smoke Clears Nebraska Ramada

KEARNEY, NE (CelebrityAccess MediaWire) — A hair band caused a scare in a Kearney, Nebraska, Ramada Inn when a flame used in the band’s show started a small fire that sent smoke pouring through the hotel’s air ducts and all over the building.

Firefighters and police responded to the early morning emergency call, and evacuated all 209 hotel rooms then searched each location for the source of the smoke. The search eventually led them to hotel bar Maxwell’s Live Lounge, where ‘80s band 3-D was performing when the fire alarms sounded.

Kearney Volunteer Fire Department Captain Todd Walton told the Kearney Hub that Maxwell’s was the only area not filled with smoke. A bar manager had used a fire extinguisher to put out a residual fire in a metal air duct in the ceiling above the stage started by a small fire trick by the band.

The band has performed at the club many times in the past three years, with 3-D frontman Alan King often blowing his trademark fireball near the end of the show.

Ben Buchanan, who recently became the Ramada’s manager, said he was unaware 3-D’s show included the stunt. “No other band that performs here does anything like that, and if I had known this band did it, I would have put a stop to it before they performed,” he told the paper. “It was an unfortunate thing that happened.”

The official report says that the fire extended into an air exhaust duct, causing minimal damage, but smoke spread into the hotel’s air handling system and was release all over the building.

“This was a very small fire that was put out within seconds,” Buchanan said. “The problem was that it hit the circulation motor in the bar and all the smoke was pushed out into the dome.”

Firefighters pulled down a few ceiling panels in Maxwell’s to ensure the fire was out. The total damage estimated was listed in the fire department report at $2,000. Prior to the early Saturday morning incident, the Ramada did not have any policy banning the use of fire or pyrotechnics during live performances.

Now there is a definite policy. No fire, no fireworks or anything that oculd lead to a fire will be allowed,” said Buchanan. “The safety of our customers, as well as the entertainers we hire, comes first.” –by CelebrityAccess Staff Writers